What is a bridge?
Why should I replace missing teeth?
Appearance is one reason. Another is that the gap left by a missing tooth can mean greater strain is put on the remaining teeth on either side. A gap can also mean that your bite is affected, because the teeth next to the space can lean into the gap and alter the way the upper and lower teeth bite together. This can lead to food getting packed into the gap, which can cause both decay and gum disease.
Why is a bridge used?
A bridge is usually used when there are fewer teeth to replace, or when the missing teeth are only on one side of the mouth. They are only possible if you have enough strong teeth with good bone support.
What are bridges made of?
Bridges are usually made of porcelain bonded to precious metal. Sometimes, there are other non-precious metals used in the base for strength. There are also new bridges made entirely of a special type of strong porcelain.
What will a bridge cost?
Costs will vary according to the size and type of bridge that you need, Prices start from £480 per unit. Although a bridge may seem expensive, it should last many years.
Can I have a bridge fitted straight after having a tooth removed?
In many cases it can take up to 6 months for the gums to heal properly after an extraction. This means that you may need to have a temporary denture for 6 months before the bridge is fitted.
How do I look after my bridge?
You will need to clean your bridge every day, to prevent problems such as bad breath and gum disease. You also have to clean under the false tooth every day. Your dentist or hygienist will show you how to use a bridge needle or special floss, as a normal toothbrush cannot reach.
Are there other methods for fixing false teeth?
There are other methods, such as using a combination of crowns and partial dentures that can keep the retaining clips out of sight. These are quite specialised dentures, so you should ask your dentist about them.
Can I have teeth which attach to the jawbone?
Yes, by having implants. The success of this technique means you may be able to replace missing teeth without crowning other teeth. For more information see our leaflet ‘A guide to Dental Implants’.
Remember that it is as important to care for your remaining teeth as it is to replace the missing ones.